The Dollmaker was the nickname of a serial killer credited with the murders of eleven sex workers in Los Angeles in 1988. The nickname was created by Larry Sakai of the Los Angeles County medical examiner's office while examining the bodies of the victims. Before Sakai coined the name, the killer was known as The Westside Stranger. Notes in the form of poems were left in connection with three of his victims, the seventh, the eleventh and the twelfth. Other than the fact that they were all prostitutes or women on the edge of society, the victims had no similarity in terms of appearance. The killer's modus operandi was always the same. He strangled them with the straps from their purses while he raped them. Then he used makeup to elaborately decorate their faces.
When the body of a twelfth victim was discovered in November of 1993, LAPD detective Harry Bosch realized that the newest victim, as well as the seventh and eleventh victims attributed to the Dollmaker had, in fact, been murdered by a copycat – which Bosch termed "the Follower" – using the Dollmaker's exact modus operandi. In addition, Bosch realized that the notes left with three of the victims were written by the Follower, not by Church.
The Dollmaker murdered a total of nine prostitutes:
- The first on 24 January 1988
- The second on 23 February 1988
- The third on 26 March 1988
- The fourth on 23 April 1988
- The fifth on 24 May 1988
- The sixth on 24 June 1988
- The seventh on 22 July 1988
- The eighth on 18 August 1988
- The ninth on 17 September 1988